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How to Buy Cool Stuff From Your Neighbors

Ditch Craigslist for hyper-local services like the Chicago-based Furnishly.

Find these lamps and other great finds on this site's Classifeds section.   Photograph: Courtesy of Vern + Vera

Calling all vintage lovers and second-hand furniture collectors: If you thought Craigslist was the only game in town for buying and selling used stuff online, then you are missing out on some good deals. And wading through a lot of crap to find your treasures.

About a year ago, this blog featured Chicago-based Furnishly, a hyper-local classifieds website that displays items for sale by individuals and local retailers such as Millionaire Rejects and Coyle & Herr. The offerings are higher-quality than most of what’s on Craigslist, and the presentation is nicer. Photos of all the items are on the homepage, so you don’t have to waste time clicking on a headache-inducing list of misleading descriptions (you know, like when “Mid-century sofa” leads to a bulky sectional that would make Florence Knoll weep).

Another option is much closer to home—just look to the right on this screen, where it says “Classifieds”. Chicago magazine has partnered with Krrb.com, a New York-based commerce site that has expanded worldwide (so if you are in Paris, you can shop “hyper-locally” there, too). It is all well organized, with prominently-displayed photos and tags as specific as “side tables” and “metal.” In addition to one-off sellers, you will find small businesses.

When I last poked around, the offerings were great, from a pair of James Mont silver-copper twist lamps (shown here) in Edgewater to a huge Persian rug in Wilmette. You may even discover old friends; in “Alan’s corner” (one of the featured sellers), I came across goods sold by the owner of the now-closed Ravenswood antique shop Patina. Ah, the many benefits of shopping the classifieds.

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